Yesterday a friend wrote reflecting on what may have caused recent mental health issues: ‘…maybe something in the early darkness, the cold and maybe even going from enjoying the summer holidays out and about back to some kind of routine. Then I thought do I like routine? Do I like to be spontaneous? Maybe a bit of both…’ 

I liked her idea of a routine–spontaneity spectrum. Yesterday – and my 200 daily musings; I know I’m up the ‘routine’ end of that spectrum. I need routines; but routines can become inflexible habits or addictions…  

Yesterday… musing on Dad and my childhood. Dad was a man of systems and routines. He’d get up at 6.15. In the winter he’d light the fire – no central heating – with newspaper, prepared kindling wood, coal, coke – and a gas poker. He’d then read his Bible and pray – using his own systems and prayer lists…

At 7.00 he’d wash and shave whilst Mum cooked the breakfast. I was required to fit into this family routine. I ‘had to’ do my piano practice before we sat down together for breakfast at 7.45. Breakfast always concluded with Bible reading and family prayers.

I can blame Dad for my need for routines…

Musing on Daniel’s ‘routines’ in Daniel 6:

  • Capable: He ‘distinguished himself… by his exceptional qualities.’
  • Conduct: ‘They could find no corruption in him because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.’
  • Criticism: The only fault that his enemies could find was in his religious routines: ‘Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed.’
  • Continue or Compromise: The new law forced Daniel to choose; he chose not to change
  • Consequences: ‘They brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.’
  • Consistency: Daniel’s consistent faith and behaviour resulted in his protection and promotion.

With Dad’s and Daniel’s example I am encouraged. Routines are OK.

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